Bill Wright, (insert) founded the Miracle League of Central Illinois with hopes of building a specialized field for special-needs children. (Photo courtesy Miracle League of Central Illinois/Facebook)
By Eric Stock
NORMAL - A league where special needs children in McLean County can play baseball is vowing to make its founder's dream a reality, after his death.
Local business owner Bill Wright of Normal created the Miracle League of Central Illinois two years ago with plans to raise money to build a field with a rubberized turf. Wright, the league's CEO, died on Monday, the day after the league's fall season had ended.
Board member Jim Grossman said Wright made it his mission to raise the money needed to build a field with a specialized surface.
"He had this passion and this drive to build our own specialized field that allow all people of all disabilities to play the game with fewer hazards," Grossman said.
Grossman said the league remains committed to reaching its goal.
"Extended family of participants, Bill's family (and) volunteers all have a passion to accomplish Bill's vision of building this field. It will be Bill's legacy and it will succeed. It will happen," Grossman said.
Grossman said the Miracle League has about $60,000 raised so far and needs about $250,000 to build a field. The league is also seeking grants through Major League Baseball and the Christopher Reeve Foundation as well as other private and public sources.
The league has approximately 70 players ranging in age from 3 to 70. The league plays its games at the PONY Fields in Bloomington. It's hosting its fall All-Star Game at Anderson Park in Normal on Sunday. Grossman said the league is always soliciting more players to sign up.
Wright was 79. You can see his obituary here.